Meds I keep on hand

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what medicines people should keep on hand during travel. There are certainly some specific items that I have all the time, and those are due to issues that I deal with. My most common complaints are headaches and stomach aches, or not being able to sleep. The Home Warrior’s main issues are heartburn and allergies. So while there are definitely a couple of things that all travelers should have, what you should keep on hand may be different from this list. I recommend thinking about what ailments bother you the most often and then packing meds those items. But, since I’ve been asked, here is my list.

  • Ibuprofen. I have found that Advil gets rid of travel headaches faster (for me) than any other painkiller. It’s also good to have on hand in case of other pains or cramps.
  • Pepto. Eating strange foods in strange places can lead to upset stomach pretty darn quickly. As can that glorious plane food. If I take a couple Pepto Bismol pills I will feel better and be able to keep working.
  • Tylenol PM. Time changes, late night flights, and random caffeine can all make getting to sleep hard. I can take half a Tylenol PM and be out like a light.

Readers, what medicines do you have to have with you during travel?


  1. Instead of taking Tylenol PM take Benadryl. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is the other ingredient in Tylenol PM that makes you drowsy.

    Why take the pain killer ingredient if you’re not in pain?

  2. i keep bandaids and neosporin (great for the occasional blister) and theraflu in my bag, along with eye drops and advil.

  3. I’ve found that baking soda (add water) is the best way for me to get instant relief for heartburn. It’s not the easiest thing to travel with, but works every time for me.

  4. I make sure I have a decongestant available, nothing worse than being out of town, and develop a cold and having to fly with full ears and sinuses.

  5. “Z-PAC” the antibiotic that saves me from bronchitis and respiratory issues. My doctor gives me a prescription when we go on long flights and can pick up lots of bugs.

  6. Depending on the length of the trip, I’ll take along some generic antibiotic like cipro, as well as some imodium in case I feel like eating some street food while on a long bus ride.

  7. The first meds I make sure to take on trips are my prescription ones 🙂

    After that, Aleve and Sudafed (except when going to Japan).

    I can usually pick up anything else at the local 24hr pharmacy or apothecary.

  8. My job often involves paying calls on people in their own homes. I always bring Zyrtec in case someone has a cat – I am terribly allergic to cats and sudden allergy attacks during a presentation can be embarrassing!

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